Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'm not marrying Obama!

I'm not marrying Obama. Therefore, I don't promise to support Obama"for better or for worse." He's my candidate, not my prospective husband. I'll support him "for better". But I'm absolutely going to criticize him "for worse." I'm talking about FISA.

I could never vote for a Republican. I will not ever support or encourage others to support John McCain. I don't believe criticizing one candidate means you are supporting another. I think dissent and vigorous discussion is important in a Democracy.

I want Obama to do the right thing re the FISA debate. The people would be on his side if he made the case for no telco immunity, and for allowing investigations into past abuses.

Our founding fathers carefully set up a government that had three parts, insisting they must act not in accord, but to counter balance each other. The President is not supposed to make policy. He is supposed to enforce it. The president is the leader of the executive branch. They execute the laws and wishes of the American people. They don't make new ones through illegal activity, as Bush did when his team asked the telecommunications companies to illegally spy on Americans without a warrant.

Under the current wording of the FISA bill, we would not be able to investigate past abuses. We'll never know, for example, if Bush tapped Obama's phone. We'll never know whether blackmail on people like Steny Hoyer, for example, was gathered and is now being used. And in a Democracy, these are things we MUST be able to know.

I'll leave you with the immortal words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.
While we push for Obama to see the light, PLEASE get in touch with your Senators and urge them to reject this FISA bill. Urge them to follow the principled leadership of Russ Feingold on this matter. This is truly one of the most important issues of our time. It's passage sets a very scary precedent. A Democrat will not always be at the helm. We'd be legalizing the crimes of the Bush administration for the next Bush. If that doesn't make your skin crawl maybe you're not a real Democrat!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with everything you said, except for the "never vote for a Republican" part. I could easily vote for a Republican, or a Democrat, Independent, Socialist, Libertarian, or Green candidate. All they have to do is run credibly on a platform based on the primacy of the Constitution, and the equal application of the rule of law to all groups and individuals without regard to race, creed, or socioeconomic status.

Honestly, that is ALL I really ask for. Incredible to me that it seems to be too much to ask. I used to think it could just be assumed, and it was the fine points that distinguished candidates.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

The reason I wouldn't vote for a Republican is that even if the man was a good man, he'd be bringing in more of the kind of Republicans we've seen all my life - people who give breaks to corporations at the expense of the people who work for them.

And I can't vote for parties that have no chance. If there was a large effort and a huge chunk of people split away from the major parties and ran together as a new party, that could get interesting. But a challenger party has no chance, and I won't waste my vote.

So that leaves me the Democrats. More often than not, at least a very good number of them do care about human rights, the environment, holding business accountable, and other good things.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see your point. Part of it is acknowledged in my "run credibly" caveat.

I agree that there is no imaginable scenario where a Republican would be worth supporting at this juncture. However, times change, and who knows what the future holds.

I do think you give too much credit to Democrats as a whole. They certainly talk a better game when campaigning. With a few exceptions, I'm not sure how much deeper than that it goes.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Just look at the voting record on the FISA bill, for example. All the Republicans and about 100 Democrats voted for it. But the good Democrats opposed it. Not one Republican opposed it in the House.

That's my point.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true. But times change; no telling what the future will bring. 100 Democrats is far too many, of course. How many voted in favor of the War in Iraq? How many voted for Democrat Clinton's terrible Anti-Terrorism bill - the first salvo in what became the Bush/Republican full assault on the Constitution? How many Republicans opposed it?

Never is a long time, Lisa. If and when the worm turns, I'm going to be sure to come back here to crow about it ;)

(Of course, if it doesn't, you are hereby invited to my deathbed to remind me of my own foolishness before I go.) :D

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenn Greenwald has written extensively on this and related issues.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Beth Budwig said...

Lisa, right on. BTW, you are now an admin in the Feinstein "Get FISA right" facebook group... she is so spineless that perhaps enough phonecalls will sway her. Barbara Boxer, on the other hand, is awesome....

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't mean to beat a dead horse, but self-doubt concerning my claim of non-alliance with any party, and the actual possibility of seeing a Republican worth supporting of a Democrat has haunted me since my last post.

That said, I suddenly thought of a theoretical race of Republican vs. Democrat where I would vote for the Republican.

Ron Paul vs. Diane Feinstein.

Of course, this would be impossible, since neither has adequate support to get their party's nomination for President, and they reside in different states. Of course, neither is anywhere close to "perfect". , but at least they are contemporaries and current.

I feel much better now.

Thanks. ;)

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voting for a third party or a candidate with "no chance" is an exercise in democracy, not throwing away a vote. Choosing who to vote for is a matter of conscience and I can't vote for Dems or Republicans anymore. Those in my view are the "throw away" votes. Obama has pledged to enlarge the military, expand the war in Afghanistan(more futile than Iraq)supports spying on Americans,and now is flip flopping on off shore oil drilling! He is just another politician now who cannot be trusted.

5:29 AM  

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